When electronics engineer Mitch MacAfee spots a UFO as \"big as a battleship,\" from his plane, the Air Force scrambles planes to investigate. However, nothing shows up on radar, and one of the jets is lost during the action. MacAfee is regarded as a dangerous crackpot until other incidents and disappearances convince the authorities that the threat is real. Some believe it is a French-Canadian folk legend come to life, but it turns out to be an extraterrestrial giant bird composed of anti-matter whose disregard for human life and architecture threatens the world.
Jeff Morrow ... Mitch MacAfee
Mara Corday ... Sally Caldwell
Morris Ankrum ... Lt. Gen. Edward Considine
Louis Merrill ... Pierre Broussard
Edgar Barrier ... Dr. Karol Noymann
Robert Shayne ... Gen. Van Buskirk
Frank Griffin ... Pete, pilot (as Ruell Shayne)
Clark Howat ... Maj. Bergen
Morgan Jones ... Lieutenant, Radar Officer
From the has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed school. A giant bird from space descends on earth, snatching up entire trains, hot rodding teenagers, and overacting bit players. Toss in terrible effects, hammy acting and science of the Ed Wood school and you have a surefire winner for any bad film fest. Then there is the bird itself, which comes complete with flareing nostrils.......
This film is simply put.....pure entertainment! Nothing to be taken seriously, but rather to be savored as one of those classic gems from the 50s. Sure, the *Beastie* of this film is a huge turkey or buzzard from some distant galaxy, the acting is stiff and forced, the effects laughable, but if you watch this film for nothing more than to be entertained, you\'ll not be disappointed. This film is what makes *B* films so much fun....they\'re cheesy and campy and made on a budget of about $1.50, but you can\'t help watching it and coming back time and time, again.
Columbia, which made huge hits like Lawrence of Arabia and Jason and the Argonauts, were responsible for this.
A giant vulture like bird from outer space is responsible for aeroplanes disappearing and to make things worse, it has an anti-matter shield around it which makes it invisible on radar. After destroying some well known landmarks in Washington and New York and also picking a (model) train up in its beak, a way is devised to kill it and is successfully killed at the end when it is shot from an aeroplane.
The Giant Claw is one of the best so-bad-it\'s-good movies of the 1950\'s. When I first saw the giant wooden puppet bird, I couldn\'t stop laughing, even though it isn\'t supposed to be a comedy.
The cast includes 50s sci-fi regulars Jeff Morrow (This Island Earth, Kronos), Morris Ankrum (Invaders From Mars, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers)and Mara Corday (Tarantula, The Black Scorpian).
I enjoyed this movie very much and I don\'t see how anybody cannot enjoy it. Great fun.
What a hoot!!!! This film tops them all......and the 50\'s had some real \"winners\" in the genre. And like all that went before and after, this will win your heart. Knowing that computer generated effects and advanced use of the blue screen were things yet to come, we usually have to bite the bullet and figure they did the best they could with what they had. BUT, in this case, they really hit bottom with the monster bird. It has to be the worst of all.....it\'s a damn wooden puppet on strings that bobs around like Big Bird on a binge......pretty pitiful. Jeff Morrow probably wanted to commit suicide or die of terminal embarrasment after seeing this film in its finished state. And the lovely Mara Corday, who was always stuck in the lower echelon of film making, had to count this as a low point in her career. She deserved better. And of course Morris Ankrum never learned....he just kept plugging away in \"B\" films and became on of the most famous faces seen in supporting roles. Now, after saying all those negative things, I can honestly say that I love this movie....it is so outrageous that you are just sucked in, forever becoming a fanatic of low budget, 50\'s horror/science fiction films. Yes, it is really bad, really bad.....but somehow you can\'t quit watching. Have fun with it!!!!!
Yes, \'fraid I feel positively compelled to stand up and be counted in support of \"The Giant Claw\"(if only for sentimental reasons).It\'s yet another of those decidedly creaky but fun Z - Grade sci fi flicks from the golden days of late night television.
If you look closely at one of the Pentagon scenes where Jeff Morrow and lovely Mara Corday are chatting to military chief Robert Shayne you might just detect Mr Shayne trying hard to stifle a laugh as he turns away from the camera at one point. And by jingo, by crikey ... who could blame him ? He\'s just finished delivering an impassioned speech about \"Bombarding the creature with guns, rockets and cannons ... God help us ..... NOTHING can stop It\"! He\'s knows only too well of course that the so called \"Monster\" looks like an escapee from a Safeway freezer. In fact, it looks like a Christmas turkey that got away halfway through being plucked ....... about 47 years earlier! I mean, Man.. like that\'s got to be the most grisly lookin\' Buzzard in the entire history of ornithology.
After 70 minutes of failing to succumb to constant direct hits by interbalistic missiles the creature does, indeed, appear to be unstoppable. Finally, Vic and Mara decide to climb aboard a technologically challenged DC 3 prop plane which has some sort of unspecified atomic ray gun hangin\' out the back of it. Apparently the idea is to squirt puffs of talcum powder in the pot boiler\'s face in the hope of blinding it and forcing it to crash land into the North Atlantic. And guess what ..... the whole crazy scheme WORKS!
Sure enough the buzzard cops a blast right in the baby blues, goes into a nose dive and takes a dramatic plunge into Neptune\'s Garden. OK, so what if the final impact does look suspiciously like a pile of garden rubbish being flung into a tank of water by someone who was standing just off camera. Even the most world weary monster chasers couldn\'t help but to feel just a touch sad as we watch the brave bird slowly disappear beneath the waves Titanic style.
Of course, it probably deserved it. In fact, when you think back on all the model cars that it destroyed and all those papier mache buildings that it sent crashing to the floor of the Columbia Studios one can only reflect on that immortal line which seemed to be almost mandatory in such pictures...\"Oh , the Humanity\" !
* Some of the better special effects are recycled from Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956).
* The poster artists were purportedly not shown the puppet nor any other artwork from the film\'s production and concluded that the monster was a giant eagle or hawk. Thus, the creature in the posters looks nothing like the beast in the film.
* Screenwriter Samuel Newman re-used the character name \"Dr. Karol Noyman\" (here played by Edgar Barrier) for an entirely different character played by John Carradine in the 1959 film Invisible Invaders (1959), which Newman also wrote.
* In an interview, star Jeff Morrow said that neither he nor anyone on the film saw the title \"monster\" until they went to the film\'s premiere in Morrow\'s home town. It turned out that producer Sam Katzman had contracted with a low-budget model-maker in Mexico City to construct the \"Giant Claw\" and no one in the cast or crew had any idea it would come out looking as bizarre and, frankly, laughable as it did. Morrow said that the audience roared with laughter every time the \"monster\" made an appearance, and he wound up slinking in embarrassment out of the theater before the film was over so that no one who knew him would recognize him.
* The producers originally planned to use a stop-motion model created by Ray Harryhausen for the bird. However, due to budgetary limitations they were forced to use a marionette.